Len Rhodes - from an ISM blog

Portfolio musician Len Rhodes

Every day I am a performing, practicing - a creative musician. Growing up in Penge, South London - my early influences were so diverse. My parents took me to the Royal Albert Hall when was only eight to hear Sir Malcolm Sergeant conduct “Messiah” - I followed the performance intently with my mother’s vocal score. Bill Wyman lived on my road; other members of the Stones were close by. Bowie developed so much artistic awareness down the road in Beckenham. My first professional gig was organist at a Beckenham church when I was thirteen.

Studies with Georgina Zellan-Smith and Ruth Harte kept me focussed!

I have always enjoyed, and continue to seek, collaborations. My ability as a performer, composer and arranger in a variety of genre has enabled me to “musically participate” with other musicians and performing artists throughout my career. As a more recent example, I worked with Janis Joplin’s siblings putting together “A Night With Janis Joplin” - my role was arranger, orchestrator and music director. This show ended up on Broadway within two years! Equally diverse was the show I musically directed, arranged and performed in with boxer Mike Tyson in Las Vegas. Prior opportunities including writing a musical for the Virginia Shakespeare Festival (USA), and music arranger for BBC Choirgirl of the Year.

I have used technology for quite some time now as Sibelius has been a great tool for my transcriptions. This was not always the case. I can remember transcribing music (by hand) for Edwin H. Morris, the Royal Academy of Music, Ursula Vaughan Williams, and Dr. Arthur Wills (Ely Cathedral).

I am still an active church musician and also enjoy my role as Artistic Director for a performing arts organization here in Colorado. My UK ties remain strong including my valued membership of the ISM; and my recording contract with Burning Girl Productions.

I have always taught, now only adults and serious students. My wife, Sandy says "Len Rhodes does what he does wherever he is" - the idea being that I have created opportunities for myself wherever I am, and therefore, have created opportunities for others. Examples of this would be a composition competition that ran for 15 years. A very talented composition student of mine had no outlet for his work so we created the competition that included a performance platform. We received international entries!

Since the formation of LenRhodesMusic.com, I seem forever linked to my laptop. It is exciting after many years of composing and arranging to see that others are interested in my transcriptions. I can see which countries musicians and performing groups are purchasing from, and innocently marvel at the way the internet connects us all. The other online sites I check are the streaming services that carry my piano solo albums.

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